According to the 2010 report from Trust for America’s Health, Louisiana was ranked the fifth most obese state in the country with more than 31% of adults being considered obese. It doesn’t look like the problem will be improving anytime soon, because Louisiana ranked fourth in the country for obese youths from age 10-17. For most Louisianans, diet, exercise and behavior modification are the keys to shedding those extra pounds. However, some should consider the benefits of weight loss surgery. So, how do you know if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery?
First, consider your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a calculation that considers your weight and your height. There are numerous calculators online that can assist you with this, such as the one found on www.realize.com. If your BMI is greater than 40, you qualify for the surgery. If your BMI is 35 or greater, and you have diseases associated with obesity (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or sleep apnea to name a few), then you qualify as well.
Second, review your own medical and obesity history. In general, you should have a several year history of obesity and should have made numerous serious attempts at weight loss through diet, exercise and behavior modification. Some medical or psychiatric problems may need to be addressed first, but only you and your Bariatric Surgeon can make the final determination as to whether or not your should pursue weight loss surgery.
Third, gain as much information as you can about obesity surgery so you can make an informed decision. We offer free monthly seminars designed to educate you on the different procedures, potential complications, potential benefits and long-term considerations. At the conclusion of the seminar, you will have all the information you need to decide if weight loss surgery is right for you.
Weight loss surgery is not a short-cut to weight loss. It is a tool that, if properly used, can not only result in weight loss, but also can result in improved health, quality of life and self-esteem. If you are interested in more information about weight loss surgery or would like to know when the next seminar will be held, contact our board-certified surgeons Dr. Samuel Bledsoe or Dr. James Parrish at (318) 442-6767.